Wednesday, April 30, 2014
The Easter Bunny got a lot of press this
month. But, before we bid farewell to April
let's raise a toast, make it carrot juice, to
another equally famous rabbit.
April 30th is Bugs Bunny Day!
Bugs made his debut as “Happy Rabbit”
in a short theater cartoon called Porky's Hare
Hunt on this date in 1938!
That would make Bugs 76-years-old today!
We all remember Bugs from the cartoons
in which he stared for Warner Brothers
over all those years.
Many of us remember them from the time
we spent in Movie Theaters "back in the day."
Some of us looked forward to the cartoons
more than the feature1
To the younger folks Bugs may be better
know from television. He's never left a screen
somewhere in all those years!
I have still another memory.
Through all of my pre teen years I can
clearly remember the picture of Bugs and his
buddy Porky Pig that hung on the wall of my
Their images were outlined in some sort
of luminous paint that made them glow in the
dark after the lights were turned off!
I suppose it's one of this "childhood" items
my mother decided had outlived it's welcome
somewhere along the line. She probably
Now I'm kind of wondering what a classic
like that might be worth these days?! It could
have been a "20 CAROT picture!" Get it?
Here's hoping that "Wascally Wabbit"
keeps besting Elmer Fudd for another
76 years, and that all your NEWS is good!
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Before I get all your hopes up the
title of today's essay has nothing to
do with guns!
Today my wife and I celebrate
45 years of married life! 45 years
"loaded" with joy, adventure, love
Sure, there have been some bumps
in the road. But we've got good shock
You often hear stories of husbands
who end up in the dog house for
forgetting their anniversaries.
But I can name the day of the month
for our first date, the day we agreed to
"go steady," the day we got engaged,
and, of course, the date we got married.
All I've got to do is remember the
month. All of our anniversaries fall on
It makes them easy to remember and,
I get most Februaries off!
We have a million neat memories
including having the nationally know
radio personality Paul Harvey announce
our wedding on his daily program!
I got a little worried when I looked
up the traditional gift for one's 45th
It was a sapphire!
What the heck would I want with a
sapphire? I really hope she doesn't buy
I, on the other hand, will probably
treat my wife to a good movie and
Unfortunately my favorite Hot Dog
stand, Jimmy's in Hazleton, is closed on
Tuesdays so we'll have to look elsewhere.
We'll find a way to enjoy the day.
We have for most of the 16,425 or so
we've shared together so far!
Thanks Hon...for making all MY NEWS
Monday, April 28, 2014
Dean Martin used to end his weekly TV show
with the line "Keep those cards and letters coming
Most of us don't get many cards and letters
these days with the possible exception of those
we find in our mailbox around Christmas.
The majority of communications come via
email, Facebook, and, most of all, Texting.
It was, therefore, with great delight that I
received a manila envelope filled with cards from
those 5th Graders I spoke before at Bear Creek
Community Charter School last week.
They were personal 'Thank You Cards'
written and hand crafted by the kids who listened
to my presentation about the sinking of Titanic in
They displayed both thoughtful comments as
well as some very creative art work!
I must have done an OK job.
One student wrote..."I can't believe you know
so many facts about the Titanic. It's ridiculous.(In a
In another card a young lady wrote..." I didn't
know that Jack Dawson doesn't exist,,,,"
One student told me she had taken 4 pages of
notes during my presentation. I may order a copy!
It could help me arrange my lecture in a more
One young lady described my talk as..."Very
cool an funny." That's pretty high praise from a
Many of the cards recounted some of the stories
I shared with the classes that day. That proved they
And I was especially pleased to see notes from
several kids who said they now plan to read more
books about the Titanic to learn more about that
famous, and historical, disaster!
Perhaps the highest praise came from one 5th
grader who wrote..."It was never boring. I didn't want
to fall asleep." It kind of made me remember all the
rest I got when I was in 5th grade!
And a First grader at Wilkes-Barre Academy
told his teacher I was "Cool."
Of course his teacher is my daughter so he may
be just pushing for an "A."
Thanks for all those cards kids!
Hope we all keep on learning and that all your
NEWS is good."
Sunday, April 27, 2014
There they stood.
They wore black leather.
They had patches on their vests.
Some even had tattoos!
No doubt about it. These guys
and gals were Bikers!
But it wasn't "Hells Angels" that
had taken over our Church Hall.
Quite the contrary! These folks
could be called 'Heaven's Angels!"
They are members of the
Christian Motorcycle Association.
And they were holding their
annual Spaghetti Dinner to raise
funds for their various projects.
Those projects involve
spreading the word of God throughout
the world in a number of ways.
One of the most unique involves
providing transportation for preachers
and missionaries in some of the most
remote areas of our planet.
It may be a motorcycle. Or a bike.
Maybe ever a horse or donkey. Whatever
it takes to get the message to the people
who need to hear it.
We always attend the dinner. It's
great to support the cause.....and chow
down on spaghetti, meatballs, garlic
bread, salad, and a great dessert!
I'd like to join them on one of their
rides...but they generally laugh when I
make that suggestion. I think it may have
something to do with the fact my "cycle"
is a 1971 90cc Honda Street/Trail bike.
It's maximum speed is about 45mph
IF you haven't eaten spaghetti.
OK, laugh if you will guys. But it
rained yesterday and I didn't see any
Harleys out there in the parking lot!!!!
Hope you'll support the CMA in
whatever way you can so their NEWS,
and yours, is good!
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Well I found myself back in school, again, yesterday.
After Wednesday's visit with 5th Graders at the Bear
Creek Community Charter School I received an
invitation to speak and read before First Graders at
Seems I'm spending more time in Elementary school
now than when they were trying to educate me!
First graders are cool! They ask good questions and
they volunteer a lot of information.
I started by talking about the Titanic.
One young lady asked if I had been aboard. I may have
to think about shaving this mustache!
Another student, a young man, held his right hand high
in the air during most of my presentation. I thought, at
first, he might be looking for permission to leave the
room. I do that to some audiences.
In reality, each time I allowed the youngster to speak
he told me another "fact" about the Titanic. I was tempted
to ask if he had been on board!
The second part of my visit focused on "Prince Claude."
The Prince is the main character in a series of short (very
short) stories I've written over the past few years.
As his name implies. Prince Claude is not the sharpest
tool in the shed. He's not good with the alphabet, numbers,
or geography. He thinks Pluto is Micky's dog, not a
He does dumb things. Which is probably why his actions
come so easily to my mind. He reminds me of me!
Judging from the laughter in the class I think the
stories of my inept Prince were a hit with the kids.
If only one of them was a Publisher!
With the reception and reaction I enjoyed it's pretty clear
I'm a good match....for First Grade!
Hope you know your ABC's and that all your NEWS
Friday, April 25, 2014
I was back in 5th Grade the other day.
That, for me, would normally be a very
frighting experience! Not this time though.
This time I really was at "the head of the
My grandson, via his Mom, invited me to
visit the Bear Creek Community Charter
School to share some of my knowledge about
the Titanic with Mrs. Albers Fifth graders.
Of course the story always ends the same
way. The ship sinks! (Sorry to spoil it for
those who didn't know!)
But the stories of individuals who were
on board are all unique.
For those who don't already know I
"reunited" two Titanic survivors back in 1972.
One had saved the other's son when the ship
went down. The mother and son ended up
living in Wilkes-Barre.
Since 1972 I've learned a lot about the
ship and some of its passengers.
I share my stories whenever I can and, this
time, that was in a Classroom.
It's different when you're speaking with
kids. Fun. But challenging. Especially when
you get to questions and answers.
One young lady, for instance, wanted to
know how old I was when the Titanic sank!
I guess it's logical to figure........ since I talk so
much about the disaster........I must have covered
One wanted to know how the iceberg hit
the ship. I had to explain it was the other way
My grandson asked if, at some later date,
we might go scuba diving to the wreck. I had
to decline that invitation. Two miles is a long
Luckily there were no questions about the
math kids are studying these days!
It's amazing how 11-year-olds can get so
excited about a story that's now 102-years-old.
But these students really got into it!
I was glad to see that!
Hope they liked the "lecture" and that
all their, and your, NEWS is good!
Thursday, April 24, 2014
I stopped working at WILK Radio in 1973.
But, in many ways, I never really left the
I've been called back from time to time to
remember big news stories from days gone by
and I've called in occasionally to offer some
perspective on topics Webster & Nancy or Sue
Henry are discussing on their daily programs.
Yesterday I went back to the WILK Studios
to say farewell to an old friend.
After some 40 years on the air in our area
Bud Brown has signed off to step into retirement.
Most of you who know the name probably
think of Bud as the morning newsman on WILK.
Ironically, Bud has worked at several stations
around these parts....but never left the same news
desk! As stations were sold and call letters
changed Bud seemed to come along with the
I'm not sure when and where we first met.
But I do know he walked down the aisle at a
wedding with my wife long before I knew either
He was the ring bearer at his uncle's wedding.
My wife was the flower girl for her aunt, who
was marrying Bud's uncle! I wonder if that makes
I never had the pleasure of working at the
same station as Bud (at the same time) but we
used to travel together all the time.
We shared a Media Newsroom at the Luzerne
County Courthouse during my early days at
WDAU TV and Bud used to ride along with my
cameraman and me as we went on the road to
gather news stories.
It was nice to be with him again yesterday
as he sat in the studio with Nancy, Webster, and
Sue Henry. Calls kept coming in from people
who have been listening to him forever and from
many, many broadcast Professionals, past and
present, who appreciate Bud's ability and
dedication to the craft!
Bud and his wife Bev are heading for
Arizona. He tells us it's mostly because of the
climate. I believe he recently received a news
tip which may put him on the trail of the Lost
Why else would he walk away from the
"glamor" of this kind of "work?"
Hope Bud and Bev enjoy their retirement
to the fullest and that all of their, and your, NEWS
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Today makes another of those "bizarre
holidays" no one seems to know about.
It's "Movie Theater Day!"
I practically grew up in movie
My Dad was a projectionist. During
most of my growing up years he worked
at the Capitol Theater in Hazleton during
the day and at one of our three regional
Drive In Theaters during summer nights!
Double features were not unusual
back then so it wasn't unusual for me to
see 4 movies a day and, occasionally,
more when the Drive Ins ran a special
night with three or more "Monster"
My personal record, for many years,
was my 13 viewings of "Where The Boys
Are." That, of course, was over several
I had a crush on the lead actress,
Dolores Hart. She must have found out
because she gave up movies and became
It would have been easy for me to
observe Movie Theater Day when I was
There were 7 theaters in my hometown
in those days. Only one of those is still
around. But there's one Multiplex just outside
of town that has three more screens that I
I still go to the movies often. I was just
there yesterday. But I miss the old
For the price of admission, anywhere
from 13 to 25 cents when I was a kid, you
got one or two features, a cartoon, a news
reel and, often, a weekly serial.
You didn't get any commercials except
for the coming attractions.
And the only little light that cut through
the darkness came from the Usher's flashlight
as he helped someone to their seats or checked
to make sure your feet weren't on them!
Of course I favored the Capitol where my
Dad worked. I got in there for free! And I got
to take a friend or two!
We even had "Stadium seating." Except,
back then, we called it a Balcony.
Prices have climbed a bit over all those
years. I could have seen about a dozen movies
for what it cost to buy popcorn today.
Still, you can't beat seeing a good movie
on a big screen!
Hope you remember to silence your
cellphone and that all your NEWS is good!
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Regular readers to my daily Blog may
recall the story I wrote in January about
the tests I went through to get glasses.
Well I got them. And I used them for
about two weeks. Then I took them back!
They just didn't seem to do the job!
It may have had something to do with
the fact that I had a blockage in glands in
each of my eyelids. I figured I'd better get
those fixed before I got new glasses.
So, eyelids all repaired, I headed
to another Eye Doctor yesterday to get
examined for a new prescription.
The Eye place was really neat. But
I had a few questions about the setup.
When you check in you're given
a form to fill out. The first thing that
occurred to me was the fact that you
probably need a pair of glasses to read
all the questions!
If you're lucky enough to be
near sighted you'll have to remember
the name of every medicine you're
taking and every disease you and your
Mother and Father every had! Good luck
In this particular office patients
are asked to wait in various sections
with different color seats. There's red,
green, blue and...well I didn't see the
But I couldn't help but wonder
what happens to the guy coming in
who's color blind? Of course there
are also signs identifying the colors.
But remember, this is a place that
attracts customers with poor eye sight!
I finally made it in to the doctor
who confirmed my suspicion that
my right eye could use a little help
to put distant objects in focus.
After he writes the prescription
you get to look at about 200 sample
frames to pick what suits your best.
Unless your wife is along. In
that case she "helps" you pick.
So now I'll sit back and wait
till they put my prescription lenses
into the frames I...that is...we picked.
Hope we....that is I...look OK
and that all your NEWS is good!
Monday, April 21, 2014
I know it was Easter. But the Devil made
me do it!
My son and his girl wanted to host the
family holiday dinner at their new home.
The idea was to have everybody bring
some of the fixings. "Everybody" in this
case consisted of about 14 people.
Somewhere along the line "everybody"
must have gotten the idea the plan was to
feed the multitudes!
You know how some families debate
over whether to have ham or turkey for
Well we didn't debate. We had both!
But that wasn't all! There was Salmon
cooked on the grill. There was corn, and
greens, and potatoes, and gravy, and rolls,
There were Deviled eggs, stuffed
mushrooms, cocktail meatballs, and fruit!
Being Easter we were also surrounded
by probably 200 pounds of chocolate
disguised as bunnies, eggs, and other things.
But chocolates not withstanding there
was a full menu of deserts highlighted by
Carrot Cake and a family tradition which
has become known as "Dad's Pie." The
latter is a concoction which features
enough calories to instantly add 2 pounds
without actually consuming the delight.
I could rationalize the story and
suggest I had some of everything so as
not to make anyone feel bad.
The truth is I had some of just about
everything because everything I saw
tempted me! And I gave in. But, like I
say, the Devil made me do it!
With a little bit of exercise and a lot
of saying "No thank you" I should be able
to work off my Easter meal in about three
Hope you had a great Easter and that
all your NEWS is good!
Sunday, April 20, 2014
So, once again, I showed up with family
members and about a zillion other people
for an Easter Egg Hunt.
This one, about the biggest, is organized
every year by members of the Plains Twp.
They're the same guys who bring Santa
to town every December and provide bags
of goodies for all the kids who turn out to
They also put up the town's Christmas
Then there's this Easter Egg Hunt which
draws hundreds of kids and their parents.
The Easter Bunny himself makes an
appearance as does the Lion mascot for the
These Club guys must have nothing to
do at home because they're always out doing
things for people in our town.
Their Easter Egg Hunt, like others
I've attended through the years, has separate
areas in which various age groups search for
the candy Easter eggs.
But I have yet to find a field set aside
for MY age group!
It wouldn't take much. After all there's
far fewer people in my age group than, for
instance, the 3 and 4-year-olds.
I truly thought it was a case of age
But, as my grand daughter and I posed
with the Lion for a photo, I learned the truth.
You see, as the Lion, explained, the Easter
Eggs are "hidden" all over the ground.
In order to gather them you're got to be
able to bend over! Then there's the matter of
getting back up!
Including a category for my age group
could, therefore, be considered elder abuse!
Oh well, maybe the Bunny will leave
something in my basket....up on the table!
Happy Easter everyone and may all your
NEWS be good!
Saturday, April 19, 2014
I'm going back to Double Dee's Dusty
Dungeon for today's blog. I have to because
I've seen it again!
The photo I've included isn't mine because
I didn't have my camera. But it's a reasonable
facsimile of what I saw while driving in West
Pittston yesterday morning.
Even if I did have my camera using is while
driving would have been both dangerous and,
in this case, hypocritical!
I couldn't see the driver operating the car
just in front of mine........unless........no.......
it couldn't be!
The head protruding from the driver's side
window was that of a small white dog!
It was large enough, however, to completely
block the rear view mirror on that side of the
car. The dog seemed to be looking to the far
left anyway so maybe he didn't need the
I've heard some dog lovers claim their pet
is like one of the family. But, personally, I
think allowing one to borrow the car is going
just a little too far!
It's bad enough to be slowed down by traffic
lights! Who needs the distraction of fire
The more I think of it I suppose there was
a licensed (Driver's license that is) driver
inside the car somewhere. I just couldn't
see him or her. And I had to wonder if he
or she could see me with "Old Shep"
perched on his or her lap! Somehow I
doubted it! Of course there's the possibility
this K9 was a "Seeing Eye Dog."
Even if that was the case I don't really
like the idea of a dog, or any other pet for
that matter, sharing the pilot's seat in an
I wonder if Geico covers puppies?
I guess I should just be happy it wasn't
Texting during the trip!
Hope you're dog has a license and that
all of your NEWS is good!
Friday, April 18, 2014
I was ordered to "Fall In" for Inspection
Well, that's not exactly true. Actually I
had some free time on my hands. So I
volunteered for Inspection.
No Drill Sargent or high ranking
Just my team of mechanics and my
Miata, fresh from under cover after that
April snowfall the other day.
In fact with the exception of one brief
outing a week ago the car has been covered
since last November!
Ever since I can remember Pennsylvania
residents had been required to submit their
vehicles for an inspection every year.
William Penn probably started the whole
thing back when horse drawn carriages were
making their way over Pennsylvania's
For many years inspection had to be done
twice a year!
For me they've always been a pain. Often in
the neck and always in the wallet!
I pulled the car onto the lift at my favorite
garage and let my Pit Crew get to work.
Well "Pit Crew" might not be an accurate
description. In fact, were this Daytona, I'd have
come in one day after all the other drivers,
But it wasn't my mechanic's fault. They felt
I needed two tires....something with some tread.
And the new guy bringing them from a "near by"
warehouse didn't know exactly how to find us.
Anyway, you'll be happy to know my tires
and brakes now allow me to stop and go when
needed. I can now see through the windshield
even when it's raining thanks to my knew wiper
blades, and my little 4 cylinder engine does
not seem to be causing global warming. (That
is somehow based on the integrity of the cap on
my gas tank!)
So, 4 hours and 200 or so bucks later I'm
good for another 12 months of happy motoring.
Of course before I head out too far I'll have
to bring my wife's car in for it's Inspection!
Hope you pass with flying colors and that
all your NEWS is good!
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the
I had one, brand new, back in 1968!
I kind of had to get another car back
I was getting married in 1969.
My wife to be loved me. But she
was not terribly fond of my Chevy
Impala convertible. I think it had
something to do with the color. It was
So I went shopping and found my
Mustang waiting for me in the
showroom window of a dealership
I think the price was around
$2,600! (And that even included a
full size spar tire!)
We got a lot of good miles out of
I especially remember taking my
wife and daughter, who was not yet
two years old, on a drive to Niagara Falls
to buy home made donuts from some folks
who sold out of the kitchen of their house.
Then we turned around and headed
back home! All in one day!
And there were no such things as
Child safety seats back then!
Of course there was a rather large
bag of donuts separating Mom and
child from the dashboard!
I just found some 8mm movies I
shot during that unforgettable trip.
Eventually the Mustang made way
for what became a series of other
vehicles over the years.
But I often look back with fond
memories of the car. And I wouldn't
mind having it today!
I found one, in terrible shape, on
line last night. They were asking
$21,000! Think I'll have to pass.
But it I did have one I'd probably
want to head out towards Niagara Falls
to see if anybody ever took over that old
donut making operation.
Like the Mustang, they just don't
make them like they used to!
Hope I get another some day, or at
least a home made donut, and that all
your NEWS is good!
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Though April showers
May come your way
They bring the.........WHAT!!!!
I looked out the window
yesterday morning and noticed that
our May flowers were already on the
That fit. The April showers were
coming down and the bulbs were
But, by mid afternoon, those
April rain drops seemed to be
getting colder. A lot colder!
When I glanced outside at
sundown the showers had turned
to snow flurries! There's nothing
about snow flurries in that "April
And it just doesn't seem right!
32 hours earlier I had the top
down in the Miata!
I have a feeling "Mother Nature"
is trying to tell us something.
Why is it....the more I hear about
"Global Warming" the more cold and
snow I see?
Well, I suppose we've go to look
at the "bright side" (if the sun ever
Any day now the cold will be
gone and the Pollen will be out!
Hope Spring comes back soon
and that all your NEWS is good!
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
A lot of you may be experiencing
that "sinking feeling" today!
It's Income Tax Deadline Day.
I've often wondered if it's just
coincidence that it falls on April
15th...the day the Titanic went down!
I know more than just a little bit
about the Titanic
I reunited two survivors back in
1972. One of them was from Wilkes-
Barre. Since then I've learned about
another area family with ties to the
disaster. And I've visited the grave
yard in Nova Scotia where many
victims are buried.
Family members and friends keep
giving me books about the Titanic.
The stories are very varied. But they
all end the same way! It sinks!
And I have personal knowledge
about the 'sinking feeling!"
More then just a couple of years
ago my late cameraman Bob Dennis
and I planned a trip down the
Susquehanna River from Wilkes-
Barre to the PPL Nuclear power plant
in Columbia County.
We boarded my ONE MAN canoe
in Nesbitt Park and immediately
Fortunately we were able to walk
ourselves out of the water with no
major damage other than that involving
Bob was able to rearrange our load
and we, unlike the Titanic, completed
our voyage. The only thing lost was
his lunch which became a feast for the
fish in the river!
If taxes have given you a sinking
feeling just keep my story in mind. A
good laugh should help you get through
Hope, after taxes. you're still afloat and
that all your NEWS is good!
Monday, April 14, 2014
My son and his best girls are in their
new home as I write this.
But getting there was half the fun!
They closed on the house on Friday.
Then, on Saturday, the move began.
A U-Haul van provided space for
the "big items."
My son, son-in-law, and grandson
provided most of the muscles to get
those items out of the old place, into
the van, then out of the van and into
the new house.
My wife and I were assigned to
4 of our grand children.
One was visiting for the weekend,
one required some basis "babysitting"
attention, and two simply needed
some pickup and feeding services.
There were, I admit, times when I
wished I was lugging baggage and
furniture in and out of the van! I can
only hear the song "Bingo" so many
On Sunday, the U-Haul was gone,
replaced by a couple passenger cars
and my minivan!
My son was still providing most
of the muscle. But he was aided by
my daughter and me. Well.....my
I was under the impression the
"big items" had been transported
Saturday. Even though that's true,
my son has accumulated various
tools and related supplies that, if
worth their weight in gold, would
allow us to have a comfortable
living for the remainder of our lives!
Few of these things are actually
designed to be carried. Or even lifted
for that matter!
Maybe it's just that gravity has
become stronger as I've aged. It
certainly was pressing pretty hard
on those things I was trying to
I found myself wishing for the
At least the others carried their
weight, and much of mine, and the
things that needed to get moved got
Since my daughter plans to move
into a new home next month I now
have enough experience to know I've
got about 30 days to find a hiding
Hope you're all settled in, and
that all your NEWS is good!
Sunday, April 13, 2014
There was still a slight coolness in the
air when we got up yesterday morning.
We gathered two grand kids. One boy
and one girl and headed up the mountain
to Bear Creek Township.
There, at the Township's recreational
fields, we joined what seemed like ten
thousand other children and their parents
just outside the fence around a combination
As we waited the loud sound of a fire
truck siren echoed through the air, getting
Perhaps we didn't have a permit for
this assembly? Or, maybe, another one
of those troublesome brush fires had sprung
up in the woods just beyond our gathering!
Nope. None of the above.
It was the Easter Bunny who, it seems,
now makes his annual arrival via Fire Engine!
In the field just beyond where we stood
he had placed hundreds of colorful Easter
Eggs just ripe for the picking.
And that, of course, is what the kids did
the minute they head a voice on the loud
speaker yell "GO!"
Suddenly those ten thousand kids, OK
so maybe it was only a couple hundred,
ran towards the field. Fortunately, I stood
off to the side at the time. It would have
been a terrible way to go....trampled to
death by the infant to 3-year-old crowd!
The scene was then repeated for the next
age category of kids.
All those kids, whatever the final count,
came away with candy. Some lucky ones
also gathered eggs with a Prize alert inside!
There was something for all the children
including enough candy and sugar to keep
them active through the entire weekend.
A lot of sponsors and volunteers worked
hard to make the day a success. And it was!
They all deserve our thanks.
One again, I must have missed the call
for the 70-year-old plus age category.
I wonder if those two grand kids took
the time to count their candy?? Hummmm!
I hope not.....and that all your NEWS